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The Joseph Groh Foundation | Grant Recipient | William Roland

March 28, 2023


William Roland in His Standing Frame.

For many years, William Roland was the owner/operator of Roland’s Heating and Cooling in Lavergne, Tennessee. In addition to the repair and installation of central heating and cooling systems, Roland’s also performed air & water systems balancing, air duct cleaning, boiler installation and repair and more.

In 2015 on his way home from a long day at work, William was in a motor vehicle accident.

As a result of the accident, William sustained a C6 spinal injury. An injury at this level typically yields wrist control, but no finger control. These life-changing injuries now made it difficult for William to move and navigate through his own home. Fortunately, William's daughter Chelsea, who lived in a small town in Georgia, made the decision to move her dad in with her. Adjusting to the newfound hardships of his everyday life, William was looking to gain more independence but needed to access physical therapy to help with that challenge. Because they live in a small town, proximity to physical therapy is an issue, as is the cost of ongoing therapy. While researching options for funding, William and Chelsea found out about the Joseph Groh Foundation through the United Spinal Association and applied for a grant. This foundation was created to provide information, advocacy and financial support to people in the contracting industry who are affected by life-altering disabilities.

Their first request was for “rehabilitation gloves.” These types of gloves help to “reprogram” the brain after neurological damage, helping patients reverse damage and restore mobility. The goal with these gloves is to not only help make the hand functional again, but also minimize joint damage and pain. The foundation was able to provide these late in 2022. Following that, William was able to begin evaluation for a standing frame which was determined appropriate because he showed improvements with blood pressure control, tone, and functional lower extremity range of motion. Based on this progress and the comparatively minimal expense of the rehabilitation gloves, William applied for a second grant for the standing frame.

Thanks to the contributions of generous sponsors, the Joseph Groh Foundation made William's request happen.


Rehabilitation Gloves, as used by William.

Now equipped with new equipment to assist in his rehabilitation, William's path to recovery is transformed. With the help of his standing frame, the act of standing allows William’s full body weight to be accepted onto his legs for increased bone density and increased activation of all muscles. By using this equipment, William can activate his muscles more frequently while working on trunk control for increased muscle strength there! This results in decreased risk for contractures and bone density while increasing his ability to balance while sitting up. It also improves his ability to breathe by strengthening his diaphragm muscles.

Daikin is a proud supporter of The Joseph Groh Foundation. William's story is made possible through the generous donations of the Foundation's sponsors. Light your beacon for others and become a Joseph Groh Foundation Luminary today.